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18 Sep 20

Harvest time

Our kitchen gardens are brimming with seasonal fruit and vegetables at this time of year. The approach of autumn sees the peak of harvest time and has been central to the rural calendar for centuries. Some summer crops are still producing and autumn crops are ripening too.
br> Enjoy a feast of beetroot, leeks, raspberries, plums, apples, pears, squash, fennel, sweetcorn, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, chard, tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, runner beans and more.

Take a look at what we've been growing in some of the kitchen gardens in our care, you'll find these at Blickling Estate, Felbrigg Hall, Oxburgh Hall, Ickworth and Wimpole Estate.

Autumn harvest from the walled garden at Blickling Estate

03 Sep 20

Dazzling dahlias

Dahlias were discovered by botanists in the 16th century, growing wild on the hillsides of Mexico. They were first introduced to Europe at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Madrid where they were named after the Swedish scientist, environmentalist and botanist, Anders Dahl.

Originally grown for their edible tubers and categorised as a vegetable, it is said they taste a bit like carrot, celery, potato and radish. Before insulin they were used to balance blood sugar due to their high fructose content.

Dahlias come in thousands of different varieties and every colour except true blue, despite a reward offered in the 19th century by a London newspaper to the first breeder to grow one – it has never been claimed. Today, you can enjoy colourful displays at Anglesey Abbey, Wimpole Estate and Blickling.

A ball dahlia at Anglesey Abbey

26 Aug 20

Great gladioli

Gladioli are sometimes known as sword lilies due to their long, pointed leaves and flower spikes and get their name from the Latin word "gladius" meaning little sword. It is said in Roman times gladiators wore gladioli bulbs around their necks during battle to help them win and the flower has come to symbolise integrity, strength and remembrance. The tall flower spikes come in a variety of colours, over 300 different species and can grow up to six feet tall. Their blooms range from less than three to more than five inches across. Originally from South Africa they can now be found all over the world. Gladioli is the birth flower for August, has been the subject of paintings by Van Gogh and Ernst, were worn by Morrissey while singing in a music video and were the signature flower of Dame Edna Everage who called them ‘gladdies’.

yellow gladioli